“Room” (Սենյակ) (00:15:00) by Anna Grigorian, Armenia, Canada, 2021
“Room” (Սենյակ [sɛnˈjɑk] ) reflects on the issues of violence and murder cases of women through the dry text of judicial acts and series of choreographed actions. While the factual data used in the video is directly taken from the realities of Armenia, gender-based oppression and violence reaching physical retaliation and murder are ongoing and widespread, making the work relevant across countries.
Despite the violent topic, the work avoids direct violent imagery. The monotonous, calm recital of the murder cases is accompanied by a series of choreographed performative actions staged by the artist, creating an allegorical space where the discourses on gender, boundaries of the body, and patriarchal order are deliberated upon through artistic expression. The texts are excerpts from judicial acts, discovered through “Silenced Voices: Femicide in Armenia 2016-2017” report, prepared by Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women, and verified through DataLex Judiciary Portal.
Support acknowledgment: Arts and Cultural Studies Laboratory Artist in Residence program (Armenia), and the Canada Council for the Arts (Canada).
Anna Grigorian is an experimental artist from Armenia, whose art practice is currently based between Canada and Armenia. With a background in sculpture, literature, and photography, her current chosen medium is moving image. Her video work revolves around socio political and economic problems, and examination of power relations, through mixing elements of theater, early cinema, and constructed surreal studio environments.
Director, Writer, Producer, Concept: Anna Grigorian
Sound design and video editing: Anna Grigorian
“Hamayak jan” Armenian folk song, extracts from performance by Lusik Qoshyan; electronically generated Armenian Dhol loops